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Spring in Germany

Well, for those that hadn’t heard, we are officially back in Germany. We have been here for a little over a month now and are slowly starting to get settled back in. Currently we are staying in a small, temporary apartment near Heidelberg, but expect to move into a house in another nearby town by the middle of May. While the apartment is big enough for the four of us, plus Annie and Chester (dog and cat), the walls do seem to get a little close in with each passing day. Fortunately, the weather here has turned absolutely gorgeous. Today, after a morning run (the first time I’ve run in I don’t know how long!) and a delicious pretzel snack (we’re in Germany, what can I say?), we headed out to one of our favorite local locations – a small lake in the forest near the headquarters of SAP in Walldorf.


My Husband Matt

you are captured

In honor of Father’s Day and just because I love him, I dedicate this post to my awesome husband Matt. He is wholeheartedly dedicated to the Lord, his family, and in helping others in need. Matt is a devoted father to his two children. He is a supportive and loving husband. Matt is also a loving son to his mom and dad. Let’s not forget to mention that he loves his dog Annie.
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Slip’n & Slid’n

It is getting a little warm around here, so this morning we broke out the Slip N’ Slide that I picked up for the boys in Norfolk. I always wanted one of these as a kid, but with nothing but rocks in the backyard, it probably wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Tristan giving it a go:

And Gavin:

Makes you want to be a kid again, doesn’t it?


Orange You Glad?

After Tristan, Gavin, and I hopped into the Crane’s car (Richard & Melanie), we were wisked away to pick oranges. Their friend owns the orchard and lets them pick oranges and lemons. It was slim pickins’ but we found a few plump oranges and many lemons. We must have missed the oranges by a week or so, judging from the ones lying on the ground.

I had planned to have two helpers, but Gavin decided to help Melanie instead. He found quite a lot of lemons for Cranes. So much so that Melanie found herself looking for recipes that called for lemons. By the way, she did make some delicious Lemon Bread. Tristan was my helper bee. He found some good ones! What a good boy helping out his mom.

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Gramvousa & Balos Trip

On Memorial Day the boys and I took a trip to Gramvousa & Balos. Our friend Silvia invited us to go with her, her kids, and her house guest Katie. Our friends Richard and Melanie went too and were so kind to drive us. Unfortunately, Matt had to stay home and work on a school paper. The good thing is… he had the peace and quite necessary to get it done.

After waiting nearly an hour (or more?) the ferry left the port. It was incredibly slow, as compared to our last ferry ride to Santorini. After an hour of boating the island of Gramvousa was in sight. We saw an awesome castle on the hill top, overlooking a sunken pirate ship. The beach was beautiful and we were so glad to have brought our water shoes. Melanie, Richard, and Katie hiked to the castle while Silvia and I stayed on the beach with the kiddos. Gavin discovered some sea anemones living on rocks. They were so cool and sucked to our fingers. That was before we realized that we were probably being stung. Continue reading


Hiking

Me at the trail's end

While Matt was having fun with our good friends Harry & Kristie in Virginia Beach, I took advantage of my time alone. My friend Melanie and I took a morning hike. Melanie invited me over for breakfast and we had fresh orange juice, coffee, and yummy Greek yogurt with honey.

Then we headed out to the trail head. We started at Gouverneto and hiked down through a small gorge and finished out to a cove. It was getting quite warm and Melanie went for a swim. I just stuck my toes in the water and checked out the sea life.

In the midst of our hike, we ran into two American college backpackers who were way too hopeful in waiting for a local bus to pick them up. So we took them into the closest town (Chorafakia) and checked on the bus schedule for them. I hope they made it!

It was a really nice hike. Not very long and not exactly challenging. It is a perfect hike for the morning before heading to the beach.

Ginger


Santorini

Santorini-39As a combination graduation/birthday/belated honeymoon (I really get my money’s worth!), I took Ginger and the boys to Santorini from May 21st through the 24th. It started out as a very early morning drive on the 21st from our home near Chania to Iraklion to catch the ferry to Santorini. After finding our way to the port and getting on the boat, I think the earliness of the morning started to settle in as we sat in the comfortable seats for the 2 1/2 hour ferry ride. Unfortunately, the boys weren’t as tired as we were, so we took quite a few walks around and outside the ferry instead of sleeping. Go figure! Continue reading


Dang Volcano!

Well, for those of you that have been keeping up, Ginger flew to Germany this past Thursday to take her NCE exam. She has been studying and studying for this test for so long now. Well, today she finally took the test (won’t find out results for 6-8 weeks!), but the stress continues because some dang volcano in Iceland wants to go and erupt, spewing clouds of ash into the sky and preventing thousands of flights from taking place in Europe.

Most of the airports in Mid to Northern Europe are shut down – and yes, that includes the Frankfurt airport! So, for now Ginger is stuck in Heidelberg with just a couple of days worth of clothes. I’m thinking that if she doesn’t get out of there by Tuesday, we’re going to have to get her a train ticket to Rome, where she can hopefully catch a flight to Athens and then back here to Crete. That is… if Rome doesn’t get shut down by then, which I am hearing rumblings of. In the meantime, the volcano keeps spewing more ash into the sky.

volcano

Volcano erupting in Iceland


Another Hedgehog

Not sure how, but we tend to get hedgehogs in our yard every now and then. I’m beginning to think that they come to our yard just to die. Not a great thought, right? After checking on him for about an hour or so, I put on some garden gloves and carried him across the street where there is a field. Sometimes when I come home at night, I’ll see them run (if you can call it that) out of the street over to this area. Hopefully he’ll find what he’s looking for.

Hedgehog

Another Visitor